Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich may have pulled too far ahead in South Carolina for Mitt Romney to catch up, according to a poll of likely Republican voters in the Palmetto state released Friday.
The former speaker has the lead with 32 percent in a new Clemson University poll, conducted January 18-19. Romney comes in second with 26 percent, while Rep. Ron Paul places third at 11 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum places fourth with 9 percent. Twenty percent of voters remain undecided. The poll has a 4.73 percent margin of error.
In a separate poll released Thursday by American Research Group (ARG), Gingrich and Romney were essentially tied, 33 percent to 32 percent for the former Massachusetts governor.
The six-point difference between Gingrich and Romney in the Clemson poll may be too large for the former Massachusetts governor to make up before Saturday’s primary — even following the charge from Gingrich’s former wife Marianne that Gingrich had asked her for an “open marriage.” Gingrich has denied that charge.